Taking On Debt To Fund Home Renovations: Good Or Bad Idea?

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There comes a point for many homeowners when they want to do something different with their home. It might be an extension to provide extra bedrooms, or just a full-scale kitchen renovation to make cooking that little bit more enjoyable.

The problem with home renovations is that they tend to be expensive. If every homeowner were to wait and diligently save the money they need for a renovation, then very few people would be able to get anything done to their abode. That kitchen remodel, for example, will cost around $20,000 according to homeadvisor.com — a huge amount of money to save just by putting a little aside from your salary every month.

So the question of borrowing becomes a focus. If you’re generally financially prudent, then the idea of taking on debt to fund a home renovation might make you wince. However, it might be a better idea than you initially think. Overall, funding a home renovation through borrowing is a good idea. Here’s why…


#1 – You’re Increasing The Value Of Your Primary Asset

Our house is the most expensive purchase that many of us make, meaning it’s also our primary asset. It’s therefore sound financial sense to want your main financial asset to be as nice as it can possibly be. Not only will a renovation improve your living standards, but it should also mean that you’re able to command a higher asking price when it’s time for you to move on. Investing in renovations can, in a very real way, be seen as an investment in your future financial status.


#2 – You Can Control How Much You Want To Spend

If you read through personalloan.co, you will see that the amount that you borrow regarding a personal loan to fund renovations is entirely down to you. There’s no need to be profligate just because you’re using borrowed money to fund your renovation; you can still keep the budget tight and practice your usual frugal methods. Provided you do the math and are sure you can meet your repayment figure every month, the rest is up to you. If you want to do a cheap-and-cheerful renovation, then that’s your call. It’s also your call if you want to spend a little more. So long as you can afford it, you can set the budget where you feel comfortable and take things from there.


#3 – Living In A Nicer House May Entice You To Stay In More

If you are on a mission to examine your spending habits and cut down on the amount you spend on eating out, then making your house a nicer place to be in is of huge benefit. The nicer your house is, the more comfortable you’re going to be when it comes to spending a night in rather than heading out for an evening — so a renovation could actually save you money in the long-term.

So the next time you wish that your home was different, it’s worth considering borrowing to fund a renovation.

Dangerous Misconceptions About Home Security

You might think that your home is safe, but that could be because you are making some of the common assumptions about home security and the dangers that could be present at any given time. If you are making these assumptions or buying into the fallacies, your home might not be nearly as safe as you think it is.


Thieves Won’t Break In If People Are Around

Actually, they will. You might think that if you live in a tightly knit neighborhood, people won’t attempt to break in. But that’s not true. There are various tactics that thieves can use to break into your home, in the middle of the day when people are around. They might pretend to know you. If that’s the case, all they need to convince a neighbor is your first name. If they have your first name and are laidback enough, no neighbor is going to stop them entering your home. How would they get your name? It’s frighteningly easy. Type in an address online, and you might be able to find out exactly who lives there. You can find if your address details can be found online by using royalmail.com. Or they could pretend they are there to complete repairs on the property.

What about if you are in? Is this going to stop thieves breaking through a window? Not necessarily. If they think they can get away with it, a thief may enter your home while you are tucked in bed. This is why you shouldn’t switch off the alarm simply because you are in the house.

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A Window Open A Crack Won’t Lead To A Break In

It could because if a window is open a crack, it can easily be adjusted to provide a large enough gap for someone to fit through. All you need is a metal wire curled into a hook. This can be used to pull the latch, and at this point, it’s easy to slide open the window. This is one of the problems with feeling comfortable and secure in our own home. It often leads us to make a mistake that means it is far more vulnerable.

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Brownie Points For Winter Proofing Your Elderly Parents Home

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The crisp golden leaves, the long snuggly nights, the chance to binge-watch Netflix, running through our neighbourhood kicking the fallen leaves, wearing extra layers as we play board games with the family – Everyone we know absolutely loves fall, everyone except one that is: our elderly parents. For them, this isn’t exactly the most dreamy time of year. For them, fall is all about preparing their home for the cold winter months. And that is where you can help them out.

Most of the time it is just little improvements that make the biggest impact – inexpensive little hacks. However, it could be that you need to help your dear old mom and dad apply for a loan through homeequitylineof.credit knowing that a much bigger investment is needed in order to make their home totally winterproof; protecting their investment from whatever Game Of Thrones type of chaos is heading their way.

Below we have pulled together a list of the must-make winter preparations to your parents home. If nothing else, you’ll certainly get more Brownie points that your other siblings.


Make Sure Their Heating Works

Nothing is as important as making sure the heating system in your parent’s home is working like new, which is why you need to call out a technician and have them complete a service. Whether it is a furnace or heat pump that needs inspecting doesn’t matter, so long as it is working as efficiently as possible and not leaking carbon monoxide, your duties will be done on this front.


Leaky Roof Syndrome Needs Fixing

Chances are, your parents won’t be able to climb onto the roof themselves – or even inspect it properly through a pair of binoculars – which is why you need to pop round and get the ladder out yourself. What you are looking for is broken, cracked, missing or loose shingles. If you see any signs of this kind of thing, a roof repair company will be worth their weight in gold. A problem prevented is a lot cheaper than trying to fix a problem. If your parents have a flat roof then clean it down and re-apply the asphalt.

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Putting Up A Bug-Barrier Around Your Garden

Only the most seasoned gardeners in the world acknowledge the benefit of having certain creepy crawlies in their garden, and even they don’t like having all of them invade their sacred green space. Even as summer comes to an end, and the family stops spending so much time in their great outdoors, that doesn’t mean insects should get free reign over your garden and destroy all the work you’ve put into making it presentable. If you want to continue the fight against the insect invasion, then here are a few tips to help you raise a bug-barrier around your garden.

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If you were unfortunate enough to be attracting mosquitos and other flying pests all summer, you’ve probably seen the benefit of insect repellents. Installing mosquito misting systems around the parameters of your home could go a long way towards keeping your garden insect free. However, if you’ve had enough of the smell of bug spray, then there are some natural repellents you could consider. Planting lavender, basil, mint, or lemongrass in your flowerbeds could contribute to the fight against mosquitos, while leaving your garden with either a fresh smell, or plenty of herbs to use in your cooking. That said, there isn’t enough evidence to support that these plants significantly reduce the presence of flying insects in your garden, so it might be best to combine the two methods. [Read more…]

3 Oft-Neglected Areas Of Home Security

Home security is a constant concern for many homeowners. The items inside of our house are expensive, not to mention the aftermath of a burglary is incredibly emotionally trying. Keeping your home safe and secure is thus a priority — but it’s not always easy.

While it’s never a bad idea to install cameras and potentially even keep a guard dog as a pet, there are always going to be areas that you might overlook. These areas are actually common across households, with thousands of people falling into the same trap when it comes to lifting focus from vulnerable areas. To ensure that your home is able to avoid these common burglar-friendly overlooked spots, inspect the areas below for any weaknesses.


1) Garage Doors



The garage is a strange area of the house, that has a tendency to feel more like part of the outdoors than the house itself. However, while it might not be as comfortable as the rest of your home, it is a direct access point to the entire house. If you don’t keep it under lock and key, then there’s a high probability that a burglar will see it as the perfect entrance route to your home.

If you notice that your door is damaged or in need of some TLC, then the likes of https://www.tiptopgaragedoors.com/lp/charlotte can provide invaluable assistance to keep your home secure. This is definitely not one you want to leave, so as soon as you notice a problem, take the steps you need to take to rectify it.


2) Upstairs Windows

It’s easy to overlook upstairs windows; after all, a burglar would need a ladder to be able to get into them, so why bother with security?

The truth is, some burglars are that bold. Your neighbors might not think anything is amiss, either — they will assume you’re having work done. So the security of your upstairs windows is just as important as the ones at ground level.


3) Garden Access



The garden always has the potential to grab a lot of your time when it comes to home maintenance, but the simple truth is that it needs it. When you have living plants to tend to, that’s tough enough, but don’t forget the security part your garden plays. For most houses, the garden is the ‘front line’, so to speak; it’s the part of your house that’s closest to the street, thus making it the prime entryway for any burglars.

Getting your garden security right is important. Cameras are a good investment, but shrubs can help as well — anything that’s particularly spiky such as those mentioned on http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/how-to-add-security-plants-to-your-yard will help to deter thieves, or at least persuade them to seek out another house that isn’t quite so well guarded.

Home security is always going to be tough; with every solution you put in place, there is always a chance someone will have a workaround. However, by ensuring you pay proper attention to the areas as listed above, you’ll have a more complete focus on home security than a lot of households manage.

Making Your Home Warm And Comfortable In Readiness For Winter

Here it comes, the unrelenting and merciless cold of winter. Although you never know if it’s going to snow or not, you can be guaranteed that it’s going to be cold all throughout the home. Cold is like a virus, and it slowly spreads from room to room, leaving no corner untouched from its presence. The issue with many homes is that they weren’t designed to be truly comfortable because when they come to being items of sale, they must look aesthetically pleasing. For example, a wooden floor in the living room is not conducive to creating a warm room, which captures a lot of heat. During the winter, in fact, hardwood floors become rigid and suffer from a terrible lack of heat. It’s almost painful to walk on them, if you come down for something to drink or eat, during the night. Older homes suffer from structural problems during harsh weather, with creaking and cracks happening as the wood contracts due to the lack of moisture in the air. There are a few things you should be preparing for in your home, to make it a much more comfortable living space during the colder months that are soon to follow.

Credit – Tracey Nicholls


Never overlook basic insulation

Most modern homes come with insulation already installed, but if your home is from an older time period, it most likely won’t have. Rolls of thick foam can be installed by experts to make sure heat is not escaping out of the home. There’s generally one type of grade that commercial homes are able to receive, but depending on how much you’re willing to pay, you might be able to get a higher quality foam insulation, which in turn will save you more on energy bills. The walls themselves can be filled with foam as well but may require them to be drilled into first. Make sure the procedure that is carried out to do this is done so by professionals who take care in avoiding hitting water pipes as well as filling the holes back up properly. Although this might seem like basic insulation, the importance cannot and underestimated because of each room, supports the other to keep more heat within the walls, thus bolstering the central heating system.

Image by – Jonatan Svensson Glad


Clear and clean the central heating

The central heating is generally a simple system, which ferries water from the boiler to the heaters which have been fixed to the walls of your home. You may not realize, but radiators can become filthy and quite muggy from the inside. When this happens, they become blocked, and air pressure starts to build up, forcing the water to stay out. Hot water cannot fill the radiator, and thus, even though your boiler is working fine, your rooms won’t heat up. You can do this yourself, or call in an expert, but first, start by taking the radiator off from the attachments to the wall. It’s wise to turn the upper nut, with the key that should have come with the house, to first, loosen it and let the air pressure out slowly. If you don’t do this, the dirty water will burst outward when the air from the outside tries to equalize with the air inside. Carefully, block the nut, while carrying the radiator outside into the garden. Hold it up from one side, to clear all the filthy water out. You can put a pressure nozzle into the hole and with your hose, force water in and out of the radiator to clean it thoroughly. Once you fit the radiator back in, it should heat up more efficiently.


Swap leather for fabric

Leather sofas during winter are an absolute nightmare. They contract so much that they become stretched and because of the tightness, they lose even more heat than they would otherwise. Even if you put a sheet over the sofa, they will naturally become cold and especially during the night. Equally, when you sit on sheets, they become bunched up and sooner or later, you’ll end up exposing a patch of freezing cold leather. Swap the leather for a comfortable chair, which molds around your body like a bean bag chair. Not only can you lie back and relax in bean bags, but you don’t lose as much body heat as you would on a sofa. Giant bean bag chairs, have high-quality shredded foam, which can switch from giving your back the support it needs, to flattening out so you can sit in a more casual position. You can also get foot rests for your bean chair, so you’re not having to curl up all the time or rest your feet on the cold floor. Giant bean bag chairs, are not like older versions and don’t sit you at a height just above the ground, so you’ll be at normal sofa seating height.

Photo by – Gil mo


Plug the gaps  

So many people don’t realize just how much heat is lost through nook, crannies, and crevices. Through no fault of your own, heat could be seeping out of your home, without you playing a role in it. Small cracks in window frames and the sealant in the window sills, over time, begin to break down. It stretches and contracts in accordance with the room temperature and the outside temperature. You may even notice that water slowly that to penetrate inward. A green substance that looks like moss, but is much thicker, like the consistency of a paste, will start to form on the inside, wherever there is a flow of water and moist air. If you buy a window sealant, you can fill in these crevices that form at the base of window frames usually, but can also appear at the top near the pressure equalizer handle.

Source – dantex1


Thickness at every window

When it comes to windows, it’s all about keeping heating away from getting a chance to escape. Thicker curtains during the winter time would act as the fourth wall in every room. Curtains that are thicker and heavier are able to absorb the heat in the home and reflect it back in a gradual fashion. When you’re heating your home, the air itself will become hot and low pressure will begin to build. The air molecules will then slowly start to bounce off each other, and any colder air molecules will be more susceptible to absorbing them. If you stuff your curtains with wool or perhaps other fabrics, you can stop this from happening. Or, the other and the easier route would be to simply buy a thicker curtain for winter, which has been purposefully designed for the season. You may need to strengthen the curtain strips and the supports to hang these heavier curtain types up, but you can evenly distribute the weight by using more curtain rings.


Let light in

It’s very tempting to leave the curtains drawn during the day as the winter months become colder and colder. However, that would be counterproductive if you want more heat in your home. Despite it being chilly outside when the sun is shining, the temperature is actually rising, whether you feel it on your skin or not. It’s the same with the home, as the sunshine will slowly but surely, heat your home during the day. So, before you go to work, pull the curtains aside and allow the sun rays to penetrate through your window and come inside. Don’t remove the thin layer of window shade, as there is a limit to how much heat you can afford to escape at the expense of the sun heating your rooms.


Set a timer on your heating

It’s a pain in the backside to have to get up and continually turn on the heating manually when you want to be rid of the cold in your home. It would pay off to think carefully about the time of your central heating turning on by itself, even if you’re not intending on using it. Boilers freeze up during the winter, and especially during particularly frosty nights. Set two different timers, so you have one which keeps the boiler alive and ticking, and the other to warm up the home. During the night you could set your heating to come on, purely for half an hour or even less, just so the inner components don’t freeze up of your boiler. The other timer could be for when you’re home, sitting in the living room, reading or watching television, and the heating is already on to maintain your desired room temperature. Keeping your heating system functioning during the winter is important, so you don’t have to call out a repair company which will end up costing your hundreds of dollars. All you need to do is to allow the boiler to plow through cold nights by turning on for a decent amount of time, essentially to warm up the pipes and melt any water that’s in the process of freezing solid.

Making your home comfortable for the winter is a joy to do if you’re preparing well in advance. Don’t let the cold weather creep up on you and your home. Make ready with tips and tricks to make sure, you’re not losing any valuable heat from inside your house, and take measures to trap the hot air inside as well.

Taking The Dread Out Of Moving Day

Despite the excitement most people feel about coming home to a new house, sleeping in a new room, and exploring a new neighborhood, no one really enjoys the moving process. It’s stressful, time consuming, and requires so much multi-tasking and paperwork that it feels like moving day will never be over. Even when you delegate certain moving jobs to the kids, family, or friends, there are still some things that only you can oversee. There is no exact science for a stress-free moving day, but here is a short checklist that might make the job a little easier.

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Contact your landlord

If you’ve been renting up until now, then you need to get in touch with your landlord at least two months before you move to let him know you’re ending your lease. This gives him the time to look for new occupiers so the house is never empty. You also need to go over any agreements and correspondence to be clear on who is responsible for any outstanding repairs. As soon as you know your official moving date, tell your landlord so there is no overlap with the new occupiers.

Organise Your Move

First, get rid of anything you won’t be needing in the new house. Clothes you haven’t worn in over a year can be donated to charity, books you have on Kindle can be given away, and electrical items you no longer use can be given to friends or sold online. Once you’ve purged your belongings, start by packing seasonal items and equipment that you won’t need right away. As soon as possible, you need to arrange for a removal company to take your belongings to your new house. The cost will vary depending on your time slot, whether you’ve hired a regular company or an interstate removalist, and whether you want the movers to disassemble and reassemble your furniture once you get to the new house. It might be more stressful to put the furniture back together yourself, but it would save you some money in the long run.

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Inform Your New Providers

At least 48 hours before you move, call the new gas company, electric company, and internet provider to let them know you will be moving house. They will make a note to cut off the service at your current address so you’re no longer paying for it, and some of them will offer to set up your service at your new address so you’re not without water, electricity and a wifi connection when you move in.

Deep Clean The House

No matter how well you took care of the house, some wear and tear over the years is to be expected. Give the place a thorough end cleaning as soon as you packed away your things. See which repairs you can do yourself to save money, and make sure you leave the house in good condition.

Whether you’re moving into another rented place, or you’ve finally bought your first house, welcome home.

Bargain Basement Renovation Hacks



The basement is probably one of the most underappreciated rooms in your entire home. But there’s something rather special about the basement: usually, it’s also the only room in the house with no windows. Though that might not sound particularly desirable, it opens up new possibilities if you decide to renovate, transforming an otherwise dull space into an unusual alcove, different from anywhere else in your house.

Renovating a basement, however, is no easy task. It takes planning, preparation, and a little know-how to boot.


Expert Tip #1: Don’t Think Linearly

When it comes to basements, the possibilities are limitless. No, really!

Many basements are plagued by the need for supporting joists or structural elements, which many people think limits their ambition, preventing them from using their basement space as they’d like. But as it turns out, there are actually a number of ways of reducing the number of supporting poles which cover the space, without reducing structural integrity. It’s just a case of finding out what they are.



According to Anne Higuera, a construction expert, people have more latitude than they think when renovating their basements. They can take out offending supporting poles while strengthening others. In fact, it’s entirely possible to totally remove any supporting joists in the interior of the space, so long as corner and wall struts are adequately reinforced. Higuera also says that space-consuming elements, like staircases, can be remodeled to take us less room or be moved altogether.


Expert Tip #2: Pick A “Basement Style”

Basements, thanks to their unique location in the home, have a fundamentally different feel to everywhere else. Whether it’s their lack of window (or high windows), their disconnectedness, or the fact that you can only reach them by going underground, they demand a new approach.

But how do you achieve a different “basement style?” One thing that works really well, especially if you have a contemporary or period-themed home, is to mix classical and modern elements together. Nothing screams “new space” more than a mishmash of different styles and forms, and this is precisely what eclectic basements do.


Expert Tip #3: Use Soundproofing

One of the great things about basements is that they are out of the way of the rest of the home. In practice, this means that you can theoretically have a party in the basement, and a baby sleeping soundly on the first, without the noise traveling upstairs.

But soundproof basements are by no means guaranteed. Just like other rooms in your home, proper planning needs to go into the process. Sound insulation in the ceiling can help, but so too can something called an RC channel which is effectively a long piece of metal that looks like a hat. It works by absorbing sound waves, even if they travel through the drywall.


Expert Tip #4: Banish Water

Because foundations are built into the ground, they can often suffer from damp or a rising water table. It’s crucial, however, to make sure that water is totally eliminated from the basement before you start installing decorations, soundproofing, and furniture, let alone make changes to the architecture.

So what can you do about waterproofing your basement? There is a technology called the hydraway waterproofing system. You can read about it here. Essentially, it’s a cost effective way to divert water away from your property, keeping it fungus-free. Today, the technology is used in foundation repairs up and down the country.


Expert Tip #5: Dig Down


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The chances are that your basement was never intended to be a living space. More likely than not, it was designed to store utilities, and that’s about it. Thus, if you’ve got lofty goals for your basement, you’ll want to increase the ceiling height. And the only way to do that, without knocking your house down and starting again, is to dig down.

Yes, it’s costly. But it also the only way to get rid of unsightly ductwork and piping that runs along the ceiling in the majority of basements. Ideally, you’d like both the floor and the ceiling in the basement to be flush, like every other room in your home.


Expert Tip #6: Get Rid Of Hazards

Before 1978, the date when using asbestos in residential properties became illegal, most basement pipes were sealed using the banned compound. Asbestos is hazardous and can lead to lung conditions years later, even if exposure is minimal. It’s certainly not something you want to be around in your basement, especially if you’re planning on spending any significant time down there.

The good news is that contractors are usually well versed in identifying and removing hazardous compounds that may have been used in the construction of your basement, like asbestos. Your best bet is to talk to them about your concerns before proceeding.


Expert Tip #7: Find Safe Exits

If you’re planning on renovating your basement, you’ll no doubt bump up, at some point, against building codes. There are several building codes you need to be aware of when altering a basement. The first is that the basement needs a safe exit route in case of emergency. Usually, this means that there needs to be an opening window that’s big enough to crawl out of. You may need to discuss this with your contractor, as they may be required to dig down the window well to provide an escape route up to ground level.


Expert Tip #8: Consider Waste Drainage

In above-ground rooms, waste drains from the home under the force of gravity. Toilet and shower waste travel through the drainage system and out into the wider network. With that said, basements present a new challenge. Because they’re below ground, waste often can’t drain under the force of gravity, unless you place things like bathrooms and sinks carefully.

If it turns out that the waste flows out below the level of the wider sewage system, you’ll need a pump that can raise household waste back up to the proper level. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a big septic tank and nowhere for the waste to go.

Cut Down The Cost Of Your Monthly Expenses


We all know how daunting bills can be, especially when we’re juggling work life and Mommy life at the same time. It can be really hard to stay afloat when there’s so much to think about, but don’t worry – there’s always a solution.

Here’s how you can cut down the cost of your bills.

Unplug unused electrical devices

When you’ve finished charging your phone, you probably leave the charger in the outlet (like most of us do), but believe it or not this still uses up electricity even when your phone isn’t attached to it. The same goes for when you leave your tv on standby. So whenever you have finished with an electrical device – unplug it or turn it off properly.


Consolidate your loans

If you’re having trouble paying off any of your existing loans, it may be a good idea to consolidate them. This means taking out a final loan to pay off all your outstanding credits. That way you’re left with one sum instead of multiple different ones.


Sell a vehicle

If you own a car or a bike that you no longer use, why not think about selling it? Not only will you be getting money for it, but you will also be saving loads because you’re no longer having to pay tax and insurance – giving you a nice bit of extra cash to put towards that holiday you wanted.


Sell unused items

Have a sort through your clothes, or pluck up the courage to go through your garage and attic and see what useless items you find. Anything that you no longer use – sell. You can do this online or by word of mouth. Even if you don’t manage to sell as much as you’d hoped – any little helps.


Carpool to school

Instead of driving your child to school and back every day, while all the other parents do the same, consider carpooling. This is a brilliant way to save money, and the planet. What’s the point of four different cars going to and from the same destination when it can be done in one?


Change your light bulbs to LED

LED lights are eighty percent more efficient than the usual lights like incandescent or fluorescent, so change them if you haven’t already. Companies like hvac zone control maximize all their lighting systems so they work a lot more efficiently while saving you money as they go.


Use public transportation

Not only will public transport save you money on your gas, maintenance, and parking, but it is also a great way of saving the environment as you’ll be drastically reducing your carbon footprint. So the next time you get up for work, consider getting the bus there and back instead.


Cancel club memberships

If you have a gym membership that you are paying for every month, have a think whether you really use the service enough to be paying what you do. It’s important to prioritize, so if that means canceling your film subscription, or have some nights in on the weekend instead – so be it.

Household Disasters Busy Mommas Could Live Without

Life as a mom is busy; there is no getting away from that fact. That’s why you don’t need any extra stress – after all, raising little ones is stressful enough. That’s why when a disaster occurs at home; it can seem like enough to tip you over the edge. However, what it’s important to remember is that no matter what happens, there is no need to panic. Sure, you could live without extra stress, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cope with it. A household disaster isn’t ideal, but you have the skills that you need to cope.

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Bearing that in mind, below we will look at what the most common household disasters are that families tend to face, as well as hacks for how to deal with them effectively. No one wants a disaster to strike, but sometimes things go wrong, and we just have to deal with that.

Crayon all over the walls

What is it with kids and crayons? Why oh why do they feel the need to draw anywhere and everywhere but in the one place that they are supposed to? If you have come into your living room from the kitchen or gone into your child’s bedroom to find crayon, or worse – permanent marker – everywhere, don’t panic. Yes, it’s not ideal, but it is fixable. Take a deep breath, and get to work trying to remove the crayon or marker. If nothing works, it could be an insurance job, especially if it’s on your soft furnishings. If it’s on the walls, painting over it may be the answer.

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